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Old 02-19-2008, 03:42 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
3,742 posts, read 6,900,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by south-to-west View Post
I-90 is the main route heading out west to Seattle and is more direct. I-94 is the alternate route which also serves large metros such as Milwaukee and the Twin Cities. I-90 bypasses both, thus you will lessen your chances of being delayed by traffic.
Not true. I-94 is the faster route to take between Billings and where I-94 and I-90 split off in Wisconsin. I-90 is not more direct.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:39 AM
 
Location: South Seattle Suburbs
3,350 posts, read 5,951,922 times
Reputation: 3528
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf131 View Post
Not true. I-94 is the faster route to take between Billings and where I-94 and I-90 split off in Wisconsin. I-90 is not more direct.
This is the kind of stuff I was wondering about. One reason I asked the question was because I looked up the distances and driving times on an online map service, and the times and distances were nearly identical. Going from Virginia to Seattle by I-90 out of Wisconsin is 2,815 miles and 42 hours, but going from Virginia to Seattle by I-94 is 2,775 miles and 41.5 hours. Virtually no difference! So I figured there must be some intangibles I wasn't aware of, like getting bogged down in rush-hour traffic in certain places, or being distracted along the way by lots of tourist traps. I hear that the lure of Wall Drug, for example, is nearly irresistible.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Michissippi
3,116 posts, read 7,156,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoAdrian View Post
I only wish I had time for some more side trips. But I'll have two weeks off work, and the driving will take me four days, at a minimum, one way. When I get out west, I want to have plenty of time to spend in both Seattle and Portland. I'm checking them both out as future places to live.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if it took 5 days one way to drive from Virginia to Seattle. At some point you're liable to get worn out and need some rest. If you only have two weeks off (about 13 days, as a practical matter) and your goal is to explore Seattle and Portland, might it make more sense to just fly to one of those cities and rent a car rather than spend 9 or 10 of those 13 days on the road? It's not as though the cost of gasoline for about 6000 miles of travel round trip is going to be trivial.

Let us know what you think of Portland and Seattle. Portland is one of my fantasy cities. I suppose that Seattle would be too, but I get the sense that that Seattle is very crowded, has a high cost of living, and has awful traffic problems.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Orange, California
1,573 posts, read 5,649,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoAdrian View Post
When I get out west, I want to have plenty of time to spend in both Seattle and Portland. I'm checking them both out as future places to live.

I can't wait, either ... the farthest west I've ever been is Missouri and Arkansas. A whole new world will be opening up to me on this trip!
Oh man. If you've never been out to Portland or Seattle in the summer time, prepare to fall in love. Summers are amazing in the pacific northwest. If you are scouting for a possible relo I imagine you will come back from your trip and start arranging your move. You should make sure to spend time out there in the winter, however, before you make your final leap. Winters are a little bit more challenging, but they are not so bad as millions of people live in the PNW who would never consider living elsewhere. If I could find the right job out there, I would move in a heartbeat myself.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:20 AM
 
Location: South Seattle Suburbs
3,350 posts, read 5,951,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhaalspawn View Post
I wouldn't be at all surprised if it took 5 days one way to drive from Virginia to Seattle. At some point you're liable to get worn out and need some rest. If you only have two weeks off (about 13 days, as a practical matter) and your goal is to explore Seattle and Portland, might it make more sense to just fly to one of those cities and rent a car rather than spend 9 or 10 of those 13 days on the road? It's not as though the cost of gasoline for about 6000 miles of travel round trip is going to be trivial.

Let us know what you think of Portland and Seattle. Portland is one of my fantasy cities. I suppose that Seattle would be too, but I get the sense that that Seattle is very crowded, has a high cost of living, and has awful traffic problems.
Actually, I'm driving out and flying back. I've always wanted to drive cross-country, so I figured this would be a good opportunity, even if I won't have a lot of time to take in the sights.

I will report back! I've been reading lots of wonderful things about Seattle. I live now in the metro DC area, so I'm used to a high cost of living and clogged roads. I figure it can't be any worse in Seattle, and out there you get the benefit of more laid-back people (again, from what I've read), beautiful scenery, and more temperate weather (I love the rain). My wife is in love with Portland because of its reputation as an environmentalist's paradise, so we're checking out both cities. I think Seattle is going to be the better place to find good jobs ... Portland may end up being a weekend getaway or a retirement destination. But we shall see.

Last edited by Adrian71; 02-20-2008 at 08:47 AM..
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:23 AM
 
Location: South Seattle Suburbs
3,350 posts, read 5,951,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goozer View Post
Oh man. If you've never been out to Portland or Seattle in the summer time, prepare to fall in love. Summers are amazing in the pacific northwest. If you are scouting for a possible relo I imagine you will come back from your trip and start arranging your move. You should make sure to spend time out there in the winter, however, before you make your final leap. Winters are a little bit more challenging, but they are not so bad as millions of people live in the PNW who would never consider living elsewhere. If I could find the right job out there, I would move in a heartbeat myself.
Right now, we're looking at relocating in April of '09, and the PNW is our primary destination choice. I grew up in Michigan, so I can't imagine the winters are going to be a challenge for us at all out there.

Thanks for the encouraging words! I'm hoping I can keep working for my current employer as a contractor once (if) we move out there, but that remains to be ironed out.

Last edited by Adrian71; 02-20-2008 at 08:42 AM..
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
3,940 posts, read 13,335,468 times
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Take I-90. It goes straight on through to Seattle and it's the quickest way to get there. You will also avoid HUGE cities like Milwaukee and Minneapolis, yet you will go through Sioux Falls and Rapid City. You could even take a day off to see Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills.

I-90 dips south in Wyoming, so I recommend taking Highway 212 once you get to Spearfish. It will take straight back to I-90 in Montana and it cuts off an hour.

Have fun! You're gonna see some spectacular scenery!
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Southern California
3,455 posts, read 7,298,090 times
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I know what you mean about US 12...like an old friend to me too! Just wanted to add....yes, the lure of Wall Drug is unstoppable. You must obey. Take I-90!

In truth its a fun place to stop and I also encourage you to check out the Badlands and Mount Rushmore/Black Hills. It would be a great day or two if you have the time!
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:43 AM
 
5,857 posts, read 14,043,096 times
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OK, I did the research for you (and I've driven all these roads dozens of times, too ) .

First, around Chicago, since time seems to be your key determient, if you find yourself there during rush hour, consider jumping off I-90 onto I-80 in Gary, IN, go west on I-80 to Morris, IL, where you will pick up I-39. Take that north to Madison, WI where you will pick up I-90/ I-94 again (they are combined at Madison) and go west.

If it is not rush hour, stay on I-90 thru the city and proceed to Madison, WI (it's the most direct route thru Chicagoland). (if $ is a factor, you will avoid all the tolls the first way, except for $.80 from Rockford to Beloit) Do NOT take I-94 to Madison, that goes north to Milwaukee, then west to Madison. A quick look at the map should tell you it is several more miles that way.

From Madison, go west to Tomah, WI, where combined I-90/I-94 splits again. The two roads parallel each other for about 1,000 miles to Billings, MT, where 94 ends and 90 proceeds to Seattle. According to Expedia, Tomah to Billings is 1,013 miles via I-94, and 993 miles via I-90. So unless you are prepared to drive an extra 21 miles , stay off of I-94!

Seriously, by taking I-90 you should encounter no urban traffic whatsoever. If you take I-94, you'll have to contend with Minneapolis/St Paul, which isn't too bad except for rush hour (approx 6-9 a.m, and 3-6 p.m.), when you'd be subject to lots of congestion.

I think I-90 is your best bet.
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Old 02-20-2008, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
3,940 posts, read 13,335,468 times
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I've driven on I-94 in Minneapolis at 10pm and been at a standstill. I think Minneapolis traffic is some of the worst I've encountered.

I-90 may not have any major cities, but it has more towns than I-94 does. Once you get past Fargo, you won't see anything until Bismarck and then until Central Montana. On I-90 you will see Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Chamberlain, Rapid City, Sturgis, and Spearfish. All these towns have 24 hour service too.

Also call 511 in each state that you are in to check road conditions. I know that Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana offer 511 but I am not sure about the other states.
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